By Chris Millwater
The presence of a significant number of empty vandalised shops is causing many angry complaints from residents and shopkeepers on Burnham High Street. In particular they are upset that Eileen Mountford, the long-term elderly owner of a number of the shops, has left them without tenants for the past year.
“We are all doing our best to make the High Street an attractive place for our customers to shop,” says Jack, owner of Sovereign Carpets “but these empty shops are an eyesore”.
“We’re already losing shoppers to the big centres,” says James, the manager of Burnham Emporium. “We’ve been working hard to improve the High Street, and it’s not fair that others don’t seem to care”
The High Street Association, consisting of local shopkeepers and residents, is in ongoing discussions with Miss Mountford. “She has agreed to let one of the shops again,” says Paul Morgan, local Estate Agent and Chairman of the Association. “But she’s being difficult about doing anything with the others”.
Throughout the UK High Streets have been losing custom to the large out of town shopping centres, where it is often much more convenient for shoppers to visit and park. The High Street Association in Burnham has been working hard to make the High Street an attractive place for shoppers, improving the look of the shops already there, attracting popular new brands such as Costa Coffee, and encouraging the local council to improve amenities.
Paul Morgan remains optimistic that he can get Miss Mountford to act. “I’ll keep talking to her,” says Paul Morgan “I don’t give up easily!”